FC Utrecht started its anniversary season with difficulty on Friday.

The club that celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, played a 1-1 draw against VVV-Venlo, which started the second round as the leader.

Guus Hupperts made the opening goal early on in the Covebo Stadium.

After the break FC Utrecht did not get any further than Sean Klaiber's fast 1-1.

Before the start of the anniversary season, FC Utrecht announced ambitiously that it wanted to attack the top three.

The club did not play in the first round, because the game with AZ was postponed due to European obligations of the Alkmaarders.

VVV-Venlo started the season a week ago with a 3-5 win over FC Emmen and can call itself the leader for at least one more day due to the draw against Utrecht.

VVV-Venlo celebrates the opening goal of Guus Hupperts.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

VVV without much ball possession still dangerous

Hupperts gave the home side the lead in the eighth minute by tapping a cross from Georgios Giakoumakis from close range behind Maarten Paes with an outside right cross.

The Utrecht goalkeeper made his first official minutes of play since he was seriously injured in the winter break last season.

Although VVV only had about 30 percent possession of the ball, the Limburgers were at least as dangerous as Utrecht.

Adam Maher had to get a ball off the line to prevent the 2-0.

Now Utrecht did combine the stiff defense of Venlo.

Right back Klaiber set up the attack himself and finished off a pass from debutant Mimoun Mahi: 1-1.

After that, Utrecht insisted.

Mahi was close to the winning goal fifteen minutes before the end, but his header was nicely knocked out of the goal by VVV keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum.

Shortly afterwards, Joris van Overeem shot an imposed chance against VVV defender Christian Kum.

In the final phase Eljero Elia came in at FC Utrecht, but the thirty-time Orange international could not make the difference either.

View the stand and the program in the Eredivisie